The Second Hallyu Wave (Part 2)

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Namsan Tower at Night

Unleashing Repressed Creativity and Channeling Peer Pressure

The last blog post (which you can read here) tackled government involvement in developing the startup scene as well as the migration of younger Korean/Korean-Americans back to Korea.

Changing Times, Changing Minds

The Old, The Traditional, The Hackneyed

This dream was safe. It was a steady income. It was a way to start a family.

However, this “dream” kills innovation and stagnates the economy. Samsung, and similar large conglomerates (known as “chaebol”), are patient zero of what I have dubbed the “Chaebol Brain Drain.” With this, creativity is squashed as soon as someone joins the company as they realize what is important is to just follow their boss’s orders, show undying loyalty, and bide their time until they get promoted. A promotion that is, not based off of skill, but rather age and how closely you follow your boss’s orders.

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At many Korean conglomerates, it is seen as anathema to leave work before your boss. This can lead to staying at the office past midnight just to save face.

Talk about doing everything you possibly can to kill worker productivity

The New, The Hip, The Innovative

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Open co-working spaces like Maru180 are vital to the sharing of ideas amongst entrepreneurs.

The future growth of Korea is directly correlated to empowering the female voice and the Korean startup is tackling this better than anyone else

A Mea Culpa and Zealous Consumerism

So I had originally written about the concept of the struggle and how it ties to the Korean startup scene; however, after some conversations it appears my assumptions were slightly misplaced.

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엄친아 is so smooth and so cool!

50 million people live in a country that fits between Los Angeles and San Francisco with half that population being in an area smaller than NYC — and you are competing with all of them, in every facet of life

While there are obvious terrible negative externalities of this, what I want to look at is how this spurs innovation and adaptation. This pressure on having the nicest, newest piece of technology drives consumer demand and creates a market in which it is highly beneficial to be on the cutting edge of technological development so that you can be a large player in supplying this craze.

The era of the Korean startup is upon us and there is no stopping it now


Written by

Startups, Korea

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